A strength of this book is Pruit’s analysis of emotion management in the preschool. . . . Pruit’s work is relevant to a range of areas of sociological interest: childhood, education, emotions, gender, and work. Pruitt sheds light on how language is used in the early childhood setting to achieve a variety of ends, such as gender neutrality; social control; emotion management of children, teachers, and parents; and the achievement of a preschool teacher identity.— American Journal of Sociology
In Between Teaching and Caring in the Preschool: Talk, Interaction, and the Preschool Teacher Identity, we are told the story of Ellis Montessori preschool’s attempts to create a gender-neutral, child-centered, environment for the young 'friends' who attend. However, as John Pruit’s novel participant observation study demonstrates, there are many ironic tensions at work in the setting. The gendered, institutional discourses of teaching and caring serve as narrative resources that administrators, teachers, and staff draw from to perform meaningful identities in occupations that are underfunded and devalued by society at large. The almost sinister language of 'choice' and feeling rules make Ellis a highly gendered, institution-centered, environment like any other. These data are terrific. This book is relevant to anyone interested gender, education, work and occupations, organizations, institutions, identity, emotions, and more.
— Carol Rambo, University of Memphis
A fascinating account of the social situation and identity of the preschool teacher. More than teachers at other levels of education, the preschool teacher is located at the comparatively intense social control, nurturant, and emotion-laden crossroads of schooling. Between Teaching and Caring in the Preschool is an informative must-read for students, scholars, practitioners, and parents.
— Jaber Gubrium, University of Missouri